Boxing: Romanian Răzvan Cojanu to fight for the WBO heavyweight world title in New Zeeland
The new challenger to Joseph Parker’s WBO heavyweight title arrived in Auckland on Wednesday and wasted no time in laying down the gauntlet to the highly-fancied champion.
Romanian Razvan Cojanu answered the call from promoters Duco to step in to the slot vacated by the injured Hughie Fury to take on Parker in Auckland on May 6th at the newly appointed venue of the Vodafone Events Centre in Manukau City, newshub.co.nz reports.
The 30-year-old addressed the waiting media at a press conference in East Auckland to offer his own thoughts on being thrust onto the global stage for such a significant bout.
“It’s like a funny joke for me, but I love it. I didn’t expect it to happen like this,” said a smiling Cojanu. “I’m happy, and I want to thank Hughie Fury for pulling out, now I get the chance.
“Don’t be upset that Fury pulled out. You’re going to have a better fight than that.”
Cojanu, who currently sits at 14th in the WBO rankings, has reason to feel confident. He’s spent a great deal of time as a sparring partner for Parker in multiple pre-fight training camps, most recently for the lead in to the contest against Ukrainian Alexander Dimitrenko.
“I know him from training camp. I know a lot of his mistakes, I know a lot of his strategies which he used with Dimitrenko, which he wanted to use for Fury, and I know him. In the camp I did 50, 60, 70 percent maximum. In the fight I’m going to go 100 percent.
“I’m coming here not to fight Joseph Parker, I’m coming here to prove to you guys and to the whole world that I can knock Joseph Parker out.”
Parker was called out by Americans Dominic Breazeale and Deontay Wilder following Fury’s withdrawal, but neither were legitimate options – Breazeale unable to make the May 6th date, while Wilder has a mandatory defence of his own WBC belt against Bermaine Stiverne.
Cojanu sports a professional record of 16 wins and two losses, and believes he has what it takes to shock the boxing world. “Many of you may laugh right now… you are going to be surprised,” he offered in parting.